Despite playing in some major heat for the first time all season, the Newton rugby team did what it needed to do to reach the next step on Tuesday.
After taking a 28-14 loss to Southeast Warren, the Cardinals clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 35-28 victory over Van Meter.
“The heat was definitely a factor for us tonight with only three subs, but the guys hung in there and did what they had to do to stay alive after the disappointing loss to SEW,” Newton coach Bill Reed said. “We have split with them now, so this is kind of the rubber match. It should be fun for the guys playing for a championship.”
Josh Smith and Austin Van Balen scored in the loss to Southeast Warren, which is the defending Class 1A state champion.
Against Van Meter, the Cardinals got tries from Van Balen, Ray Schroder, Josh Smith, Jake Smith and Tristan Peters, and thanks to some help from Southeast Warren, punched their tickets to the state tournament.
The Cardinals will begin play at 6:20 p.m. at Williams Stadium in Des Moines.